According to TMZ, the spontaneous and brash actor Charlie Sheen will be holding a public announcement tomorrow with Matt Lauer on the Today show, in which he will come forward and disclose the fact that he is HIV positive. According to the extremely dubious but occasionally correct source, the actor has been hiding his condition for years. Now the real question, if the rumors are true, is how long Sheen has been concealing the disease and what kind of drugs or treatment has he been taking to keep his ailment at bay—especially when access to anti-HIV drugs are becoming limited due to price increase.
If you’re not familiar with the price hike, the news broke out in September when Daraprim—one of the many drugs that manages chronic and highly infectious diseases such as cancer and AIDS, became unaffordable and limited to many patients after Turing Pharmaceutical outrageously increased the drug’s price from $13.50 to $750 overnight. Patients along with several health organizations called the price hike “unjustifiable for the medically vulnerable patient population” and “unsustainable for the health care system.”
Medical insurance plans for patients with HIV or AIDS have limited access to drug treatment options. Only 16 percent of marketplace plans cover all 10 of the top HIV/AIDS drug regimens and charge less than $100 a month, according to a recent analysis by Avalere. This means that if you’re a patient in one of the states that doesn’t provide you with a plan to purchase HIV or AIDS medication for $100 or less, you’ll end up with a pile of medical bills that could possibly become a debt that your family will be paying for generations to come. Charlie Sheen may have the money to finance his debauchery lifestyle, and most certainly will spend that money, if he truly is HIV positive. Who has the minimum HIV/AIDS medical plans and cannot even afford the most generic brand of medication? With these major pharmaceutical companies constantly raising prices of life-saving drugs some patients are faced with a truly heartbreaking choice: accept a less effective treatment plan or end up with a legacy of debt.